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When Can Debt Collectors Call?

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Question: When Can Debt Collectors Call?
Answer: Debt collectors seem to call at the most inconvenient times, don't they? Actually, anytime someone calls asking for money is an inconvenience. There's nothing pleasant about being pressed to pay a bill, especially when you can't afford it or you're just not ready to pay.

The Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) sets guidelines for when debt collectors can call:

  • They can call between 8am and 9pm, your local time
  • They can call you at work if they do not know your employer disapproves
  • They can call you once more after receiving a cease and desist letter from you

What about weekends and holidays? Fortunately, many businesses, including collection agencies, are closed on weekends and holidays. Although the FDCPA doesn't specifically state which days of the week collectors can and cannot call, it does state that collectors cannot communicate with you during times "which should be known to be inconvenient."

If a collector calls at a bad time, simply say, "This is not a convenient time" and let them know specifically what time is convenient.

The FDCPA doesn't specify how often a debt collector can call, e.g. weekly or daily. It does, however, prohibit collectors from "causing the phone to ring repeatedly or continuously to annoy" you. So, debt collectors shouldn't be calling you back to back, especially immediately after you've spoken to them and ended the call or after you've asked not to be called.

If you believe a debt collector is violating the law by calling you outside the allowed times, especially after you've sent a cease and desist letter asking them to stop calling, you can report them to the FTC and your state Attorney General.

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